Oil rig company charged in explosion that killed 3 Filipinos

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – Federal prosecutors have filed criminal charges against Black Elk Energy for an oil rig platform explosion in 2012 that killed three Filipino workers and injured others.

Subcontracted Filipino workers Avelino Tajonera, Elroy Corporal, and Jerome Malagapo died in the explosion while other workers were burned and injured.

Black Elk Energy’s initial investigation blamed the explosion on the contractors.

The six-count felony charges allege that Black Elk Energy is to blame for the Nov. 26, 2012 Gulf of Mexico platform explosion.

The indictment claims that a construction supervisor who allegedly observed a spill on the rig failed to shut down operations.

Prosecutors say that was a critical error because a few hours later, a crew trying to weld on the cut pipe ignited the oil vapors and resulted to the explosion.

An initial hearing is set on Sept. 21 at the eastern district court in New Orleans.

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